2020 Village Award Scheme – Update – March 2020

2020 Village Award Scheme
Northamptonshire Action for Communities in Rural England

Nether Heyford’s Application: Progress report

I am pleased to write that, to date, 46 questionnaires have been sent out to village groups and organisations and 28 have been returned. This is an excellent response at this stage – and my thanks go out to all those who have responded so promptly. There is still time for others to come in so I am hopeful that by the time the judges want more detailed information we’ll be well prepared.

In the meantime, I now have a long list of activities and amenities, giving me a good general picture of Nether Heyford’s community life. So by the time you read this I will have submitted an application on behalf of the village, with two supporting statements: one about the village as a great place to live (Community), and the other about the revitalisation of the allotments project (Creative Use of Communal Space).

I have received much support from people around the village – which has been a great encouragement to me, thank you all.

Alwyne Wilson 01327 340803


2020 Village Award Scheme – Update – February 2020

2020 Village Award Scheme
Northamptonshire Action for Communities in Rural England

Nether Heyford’s Application

Following my mention of this in the October Prattler, in preparation for our application, I have been researching all that Nether Heyford has to offer to its community.

The results are staggering – in a village of 1750 people we have some 50 groups, organisations, activities and facilities all offering direct benefits, not only to our own people but to those of neighbouring villages.

But a list is not enough – I now need specific details of how all these benefits are offered and received. To this end, I am about to ask each group to help me by completing a brief questionnaire. As it’s going to take me some time to get around everyone, you may not hear from me immediately. When you do, I hope you will provide a picture of the all good work that you are doing.

The application deadline is tight – the end of February. In April or May the judges will visit our village to talk to groups and view the facilities. I do hope that, if invited, you will be willing to join a small group of Heyford people to meet the judges and help convince them what a marvelous community we have in our village. Awards will be announced in July.

In advance of your support, thank you.

Alwyne Wilson 01327 340803
(Village Awards Co-ordinator: self-volunteered)


Heyford Gardening Club – November 2019

At our October meeting we had a talk from Malcolm Dickson of Hookgreen Herbs who gave us an insight into the exigencies of running a herb nursery, no doubt disillusioning anyone with dreams of having their own little nursery. There was also a wide range of herb plants and seeds for sale.

The evening also featured a competition for the best Autumn Arrangement. The winner was Rosemary Dunkley with a colourful display which was even displayed in a pumpkin shell! Mary Newstead came second with Anne Haynes and Gil Guglielmi in joint third place.

Our next meeting will be on the 11th November when we will have a return visit from Caroline Tait who will tell us about her work at Longwood in Philadelphia.

Breaking the rules
In gardening many jobs have to be done at the right time, but sometimes I find that we have more freedom than you might expect. This year in June I had some gaps that needed filling and I had some annual seeds left over. The instructions on the packet said sow in April, but I went ahead anyway, and the result was a good display of flower in late summer and autumn.

In the past I had always struggled to grow leeks, finding them difficult to establish from sowings in the early spring as advised. One year having seed left over in May I sowed it in the vegetable patch, and found to my surprise that the seedlings grew lustily despite dry and hot conditions and made decent plants for the winter. I have done this again each year since with the same result. I wouldn’t win any prizes with the plants but they are fine for the kitchen. Leeks are obviously tougher than you might expect. Sometimes a bit of experimentation can pay off.

I have been growing hardy cyclamen for some years now, and have been keeping the special varieties in pots in an unheated greenhouse. Last year owing to shortage of space I released some plants into the garden. These have prospered beyond my expectations, no doubt helped by the hot, dry summer this year which would have been like the conditions they would experience in the Mediterranean area where they originate. Recently I have noticed drifts of seedlings appearing next to the mature plants. They may look delicate and dainty but they are bruisers and can tough it out with the biggest weeds when they are somewhere they like.

Some Things to do in November
1. Clear up leaves from paths and ponds (but don’t be too tidy!)
2. Plant tulips in pots or beds
3. Put grease bands on fruit trees to stop winter moth
4. Plant winter bedding.

Mark Newstead



For more information visit the Heyford Gardening Club & Allotments page


Heyford Gardening Club – October 2019

We started our new programme for the year with our annual flower and vegetable
show. These shows are always affected by the vagaries of the weather that has
experienced over the year, and our efforts to balance the classes are frequently
frustrated by events. For example, based on previous poor displays the class for
beetroot was withdrawn last year, only to prompt complaints from members because
their beetroot crops had been particularly good. So for this year the beetroot class was reinstated only to find that there was only one entry! And there were no courgette’s at all, whereas there were ten entries in the tomatoes. However the expansion of the floral classes was clearly a clever move as the displays of arrangements on show were truly impressive, indicating a wealth of artistic talent among our members.

The vegetable section was won by Irene Reeves with Jill Langrish in second place
and Tony Clewett third.

The flower section was closely fought, Mike Langrish came first with Anne Haynes in second place while Jill Langrish, Maureen Wright, Irene Reeves and Lynn Ashbee all took the third spot.

We reduced the plot to plate section down to just a jam or jelly class, which was won by Jill Langrish, with Margaret Ridgewell in second place and Sandy Alderson third.

The overall winner this year, taking into account prizes in our series of bench shows over the year, was Jill Langrish, with Irene Reeves as runner up and Margaret Ridgewell third. So our congratulations to them, the rest of us will just have to try harder next year!

Our next meeting will be on the 14th October when we will have a talk from Malcolm Dickson from Hooksgreen Herbs.

Some Things to do in October
1 Divide and replant herbaceous perennials
2 Give lawns a last cut and trim
3 Prune climbing roses

Mark Newstead



For more information visit the Heyford Gardening Club & Allotments page


2020 Village Award Scheme – October 2019

2020 Village Award Scheme
Northamptonshire Action for Communities in Rural England

My husband and I came to Nether Heyford for 18 months in 1987 and have been here ever since, having realised what a great community this was. It still is – with a wide variety of activities going on around the village, many based in the village hall, in the school, on the sports field, in the churches, in the youth club and on the village green. In addition, I have recently been inspired by the fact that next year marks the 60th anniversary of the building of the village hall, built entirely by volunteers – and throughout the ensuing 60 years, volunteers have continued to manage and maintain it.

With these two facts, we could stand a good chance of being recognised as a very special village community.

As a villager myself and appreciative of all that Nether Heyford has to offer, I would be pleased to co-ordinate an application, with the help of others. To this end, I propose to contact and, I hope, meet representatives of the various activities. If I contact you, please be gentle with me.

The application deadline will be next April, with judging from late May to early June. That seems a long time ahead but, with Christmas and New Year in between, we need to make an early start.

Alwyne Wilson

Heyford Cricket Club – September 2019


The season is going well for the adult cricketers at Heyford CC. The 1st XI are still at the top of Division 3 but have had their lead slashed following 3 consecutive defeats against beatable opposition. The 2nd XI remain in second place in Division 8 having beaten the league leaders twice, but recently slipped up against rivals Wellingborough OGs 2nd XI in the battle for the three promotion spaces. It looks like being an exciting climax to the season!

Junior Cricket ended strongly, with our 40 All Stars enjoying a water balloon cricket activity at their last session, and the U11s winning their first game! It was fantastic to see the improvement of the children during the coaching sessions, well done to all the children and coaches at the Club for an enjoyable summer. We will be in touch shortly about plans for winter nets and cricket in 2020.

Thank you to everyone who came to our Fun Day at the Playing Fields in June, and
the Golf Day at Whittlebury Hall in July. These events raised a huge amount of
money for the Club and will go a long way towards paying for a new roller for the square, providing some more seating for spectators and practice equipment for both adults and juniors.

Patrons and Sponsors Day – 14th September:
We will be hosting a Patrons and Sponsors Day on 14th September, to thank all our patrons and sponsors for their generous support and financial contributions to the Club. The 1st XI will be playing at home against Wollaston (midday start), and we will be putting on some extra tea and a glass of bubbles for everyone who can make it along! Tea is usually served at about 3pm, and the bar will be open all afternoon. We hope you can join us for some or all of the afternoon.

Bonus Ball:
A full list of Bonus Ball winners can be found on the ‘News’ pages of our website. The June and July 2019 winners were as follows:

27/07/19 – 3 – Ceri John 29/06/19 – 27 – Jamie Pardon
20/07/19 – 32 – Adam Linnell 22/06/19 – 11 – Chris Peck
13/07/19 – 12 – Ray & Carol Cory 15/06/19 – 29 – Dave Livermore
06/07/19 – 9 – Colin Gillespie 08/06/19 – 43 – Adam Linnell
01/06/19 – 42 – Chris Andrews

Thank you to everyone who plays. If you would like to support the Club for £1 per
week, but also stand the chance of winning £25 each week then please get in touch
for more information.

Forthcoming Home Fixtures:
7th September – 2nd XI v Long Buckby (13:00)
14th September – 1st XI v Wollaston (12:00)
21st September – 2nd XI v Irchester (13:00)

More details about Heyford Cricket Club can be found on our website: www.heyfordcricket.co.uk or via social media where we can be found on both Facebook and Twitter.

If you would like to get in touch you can also email us at: heyfordcricket@hotmail.co.uk

Website: www.heyfordcricket.co.uk
Download the app:

At Heyford we try to mix good cricket with good fun. We play to win but we always try to play fair and we hope that all our guests will feel welcome.

The Playing Fields, Middle Street, Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire NN7 3NL

If you are approaching Heyford from the M1 (Junction 16), on the roundabout take the 1st local exit towards Upper Heyford. After about 600 metres as you enter Upper Heyford turn left (signposted Nether Heyford and Bugbrooke) Follow this narrow country lane for about 0.5 miles, until you cross a small bridge over the river. The entrance track to the Playing Fields is on your left about 30 yards past this bridge, just before you enter the village.


Heyford Gardening Club – September 2019

After the summer break our annual programme will commence on the 9th September
with our autumn flower and produce show.

What a year-so far!

I commented on the weather earlier in the year, but since then we have had the
hottest July ever recorded, followed by monsoon like rain and now gale force winds. So how have our gardens fared in this year of extremes? Amazingly our own patch has hardly been affected at all. I have had to do no more watering than usual and there have been no losses to speak of. Our soft fruit crops have been good in quantity and quality, and we have a bumper crop of damsons on our trees. I have noticed that plum and pear trees around the village seem to have little fruit on though. The roses have been good and so were our lilies. Our beetroot were poor but the lettuces were prolific. Some greens plants withered away, but the kale grew better than usual. How difficult it is to predict what will happen from one year to the next.


When weeding our gardens it pays to keep an eye out for the unusual, as all sorts of plants can appear amongst the weeds. Garden compost is a fertile source of tomato plants, chard and even parsley. Poppies and nigella are notorious for self seeding, as are evening primroses. Birds can drop seeds such as cherry stones and elder pips, so maybe that’s where the sunflower came from on our vegetable plot. Rather more mysterious was the beautiful pink nicotiana and the orange coreopsis, neither of which are plants that I have ever grown and the angelica by our pond. A couple of years ago a salsify plant arrived from somewhere, and has spread around with it’s dandelion-like fluffy seeds; a beautiful and edible weed. These interlopers often seem to grow better than the plants that I have carefully planted and nurtured, presumably they have grown so well because the seeds have landed where the conditions are just right for them.

Some Things to do in September

1 Sow some salad plants in pots for the autumn and winter
2 Buy and plant narcissi and daffodils
3 Reduce watering of cacti, succulents and other houseplants

Mark Newstead



For more information visit the Heyford Gardening Club & Allotments page



The Story of Heyford: Three Wise Men V3C16

Pictured here around 1950 are Wakefield Whitton, William Denny , and Bernard Kingston. Mr Whitton owned Brook Farm before it was demolished and replaced by the modern houses in Watery Lane and Brookside. Wakefield Way was named after him.

William Denny was of the family of builders. He built the council houses in Furnace Lane. Bernard Kingston as one of the bell ringers. All three were school governors, and they are seen here on the village green judging at one of the school events .


Photo lent by Dorothy (nee Denny) and Bill Kingston


Extract from “The Story of Heyford” – Local book series published in the late 1990’s

Volume 3 of 4 | Chapter 16 of 17 | Page 30


Heyford’s Historical Heritage  |  How the books were created

Index  |  Covers

Heyford Gardening Club – July 2019


Our June meeting featured a fascinating talk by Steve Brown on bonsai; a form of gardening which verges on an art form. I always think of it as extreme topiary.

Rose Show

Despite the tempestuous weather there was a good showing for the rose show with 57 entries.

Pauline Guglielmi won the single flowered class, Brian Jackson came second with John Dunkley and Tony Clewett in joint third place.

In the cluster flowered class Jill Langrish came first, Pauline Guglielmi was second
and Val Jackson, Rosemary Dunkley and Anne Haynes all tied for third place.

The perils of perlite

Following advice in the RHS magazine I have over the last few years added vermiculite to multi purpose compost for sowing seeds and taking cuttings. This proved extremely successful producing plants with vigorous root systems which established very quickly. Last year however instead of vermiculite I used perlite which, I assumed, would do the same thing. However I experienced a lot of difficulty; seedlings germinated quickly enough but then failed to develop properly and cuttings just didn’t root.

I can’t be sure that this was entirely due to the perlite, but having gone back to using vermiculite again, the results have improved significantly. This illustrates the principle that in gardening apparently small variations in conditions can make the difference between success and failure.

Weird Weather-again!

Following a baking Easter, a freezing May, and no rain for months suddenly the
heavens have opened and given us the whole summers rain in a few days. It’s a
wonder that we can grow anything!

Some Things to do in July

1. Dead head roses, bedding plants and perennials to get more flowers.
2. Pick courgette’s before they turn into marrows (unless you like marrows)
3. Water and feed plants in containers

Mark Newstead



For more information visit the Heyford Gardening Club & Allotments page